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Jewish Journal

Poem: To my children

by Susan Terris

Posted on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:41 am

Photo by George Allen Penton

Photo by George Allen Penton

Instead of using the staircase,

risk the tendrilled stalks of ivy

and drop into the muddy copse below.

Your great grandfathers understood mud

as they slogged from village to village

peddling pots and ribbons and scissors.

They knew days with no light, nights

with no heat, years with no safety —

years of pogroms, famine, and loss.

But, still, you may collar their essence

if, shaking pearls from your ears,

you can know wet boots and windfall.


Susan Terris’ new book is “Ghost of Yesterday: New and Selected Poems” (Marsh Hawk Press, 2013). She is the editor of Spillway magazine and a poetry editor for Pedestal.

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